Company which built O2's London 4G in administration
Cornerstone of Cornerstone was in on ground floor, now shown the door
Cellular Systems, the company which built O2's 4G network in London and which was apparently a cornerstone of Cornerstone - the Vodafone/O2 shared-infrastructure project - has gone into administration.
Cellular Systems built the 4G trial network 18 months ago, so that O2 could test LTE transmissions at 2.6GHz before the spectrum went up for auction. Last year Huawei named Cellular Systems their "Best New Hardware Partner", but now the company is in administration with Deloitte handling the details.
The Cheshire company still lists Vodafone, O2 and (combined effort) Cornerstone as customers. Deloitte tells El Reg that its "main customer" walked at the end of last year, and we understand that refers to the Cornerstone project.
It seems that Cellular Systems had fun, and did good work, deploying the trials and that got it into Cornerstone early. Cornerstone is the company which runs O2 and Vodafone's combined network as the operators increasingly share both 2G and 3G infrastructure, but since the 4G auction the industry has changed and deployment plans altered.
Cellular Systems, it seems, no longer features as part of those plans and so should not hope to be bought up by one of the existing network operators - though with 48 of the 53 staff already laid off there probably isn't much left.
The only good news, for those staff, is that networks are deploying a lot more infrastructure over the next year or two, so hopefully the departing people won't have too much trouble finding fresh employment. ®
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